Video 12'10'', model of the city of Annecy built with Dr. Pierre Mabille's material for the Village test, two showcases displaying documents and sound recording.
Many of my previous works dealt with the subject of urbanism and more specifically with the interplay between the inhabitant and his surrounding and with the connections between the structures of the city and the of the human mind. The video Bonneville was about my personal rewriting of my hometown and the project called Place Franz Liszt was an approach of an urban fragment observed through the filter of its inhabitants subjectivity.That's why I was very interested when I first heard about the so called "villagist" psychologists and psychoanalysts. Those psychologists, pursuing another goal and using other means, also developed an interpretative practice of urban space that correlate it with some more general issues concerning the individual. Their work is based on a projective test called the "Village test" in which the subject is asked to build an imaginary village using a set of standardized elements symbolizing houses, stores, trees etc. Analyzing the way he organize his village (What was the first element that he used? Has the village got accesses and exits ? What portion of the whole board does it covers ? etc.) the psychologist can detect his main psychological tendancies as well as his hidden wounds. With the project called Le test du village, I tried to adapt the tools created for this projective test to some new goals. Instead of applying its interpretative frameworks to some imaginary village, I decided to use them in order to interpret the topography of Annecy, a real city located in the French Alps. My idea was that the various builders who participated in the construction of the city throughout the centuries certainly betrayed in this task their hopes, their fears and their desires, just as the children who build their imaginary villages using the blocks provided by Dr. Mabille. With the assistance of some villagist psychologists, I first transposed the real history of the city of Annecy, from the begining of the 12nd Century until today, in the "language" of the village test. Then I asked a child to reenact this scenario. This young boy was a sort of personification symbolizing all the inhabitants and builders of the city. Then I showed the video and the resulting village to some other villagist psychologists and psychoanalysts and I asked them to carry out an interpretation according to the frameworks of the village test. The installation Le test du village consists in the display of all the elements used or produced during this process : the video, the model as well as some diagrams and reports writen by the psychologists. The documents are displayed in two showcases. The interpretation proposed by the psychologists is reenacted by a reader and diffused through headphones. For its first exhibition, this installation was shown in the Palais de L'ile, a medieval fortified house and present location of the historical museum of the city of Annecy. Amongst predictable approaches to discourse on history and urabnism of the city, it offered an uncannier point of view that took into account the unconscious and the repressed.
Back to top